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Don 10, Us 10, Los Angeles 7, Cnn 6, Alabama 6, New York 6, Matt Damon 5, U.s. 5, Damon 5, Hawaii 4, Torre 4, Hollywood 4, Alina Cho 3, Houston 3, Arkansas 3, Mississippi 3, San Diego 3, California 3, Katherine Jackson 2, Spengler 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    December 26, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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another says, absolutely. i have every reason to know who is owning a gun in my neighborhood. this from tim, wow, i didn't realize so many people are paranoid of someone coming into their home uninvited. the way these gun owners are talking it's as if there are home invasions every single day. keep the conversation going. facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me, @carolcnn. thanks for being a part of that conversation. thanks for being with me today. "cnn newsroom" continues right now with don lemon. >> you're going to get a lot of comments when it comes to guns, right? >> more than 700 now. >> did you have a good christmas? >> i did, don. thank you. >> merry christmas. i'm don lemon. ashleigh is off today. violent, treacherous storms pounding the eastern u.s. right now. blizzard conditions from southern illinois across ohio and then to the south, heavy rain in the carolinas and virginia. this is on top of yesterday's mayhem which kicked up about 30 tornadoes.
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>> oh, my god. we need to be. it's right there. >> this ominous sight was videotaped from the interstate near mobile, alabama. the driver wisely stopped and turned around. i want you to listen to the funnel cloud as it approached the city. >> christmas day tornado. going through mobile. oh, my god, look, that's a tornado. oh, wow. oh, jesus, look at that tornado. >> look at that. it caused a lot of damage. and knocked out power to more than 20,000 customers. incredibly, no one was killed, although at least two storm-related deaths were reported elsewhere. but even nature's most destructive forces can have a beautiful side. the storm generated this end-to-end rainbow as it passed near jackson, mississippi. let's get to alexandra steele.
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>> the legs on this thing are insane. certainly one for the record books. on the snow side and on the severe side, mobile, two tornadoes, one yesterday and then one five days before that. it was the greatest christmas day tornado outbreak on the records, for the record books since records have been kept. in denver, the first white christmas in three years. dallas, the 4 inches of snow. last time that happened, 1926. in little rock, 9 inches. last time they had any measurable snow of that nature was in 1926. must have been a snowy year that year. here's the big picture. the good news, the severe has moved east out of mobile and out of birmingham, out of atlanta. it is pushing east to the 95 corridor, even east of that. the areas impacted today with a potential for tornadoes, really the eastern carolinas, from raleigh down through jacksonville. and believe it or not, even
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tampa, potentially. but it doesn't look like the threat will be nearly as severe as what we saw yesterday. but it only takes one. we know that. keep an eye to the sky for traveling. on the north side of it, it's a snowy affair and one for the history books, to boot. here it looks like where the axis of the heaviest snow will be. today, tonight and in toward tomorrow. just south of indy all the way to dayton, to cleveland and then to western new york, talking about a swath of potentially 6 to 12 inches, even more than 12 inches potentially in western new york. so from albany westward, that i-90 corridor will be brutal. and of course blizzard warnings, we're seeing that. and we have those because it's not just the snow. it's the wind that's such a dynamic factor with this storm. and the wind impacting travel, not only today but we'll see it tomorrow and through tomorrow night, in the big cities especially, even traveling now. this is the forecast from tonight through tomorrow. here's where that heaviest snow
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will be. don, all these ski resorts certainly have been beneficial with this snow. and we'll see that really maybe a foot in the green and white mountains and in western new york. >> but if you're not skiing, if you have power, watch us. we'll get you through it. thank you. so much more of this. but first, let's get to alabama. the scene of yesterday's terrifying tornado in mobile. art faulkner joins me now by phone. thank you for speaking with us. i know you've been very business sip. have you determined how many tornadoes touched down in alabama yesterday? >> good morning, don. well, i'm currently in mobile at the request of governor bentley, came down to see exactly how much damage occurred here. and we got multiple tornado sights across the state. but i think the one word that could describe the citizens of alabama, we were blessed. fortunately we only know of a couple of injuries and no fatalities.
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>> no deaths and you said just a couple of injuries. how serious are those injuries? >> well, we do know that out of a tornado that hit in pike county, which is just southwest of montgomery, we had a couple of injuries and at least one of those individuals remains hospitalized. >> are you going to seek any federal assistance? do you need help? >> well, our emergency managers this morning and first responders are looking at the damage. i think it's a little bit early for us to tell exactly what the extent of that is. so we'll take our time throughout the evening and the night. the first responders were focused on the individuals and their safety and making sure that we didn't have people trapped in homes. that will turn today to looking at exactly what kind of damage we have and whether or not we'll have enough to ask the federal government to come in and help. but certainly we've been in this situation before. and our local governments and
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the state will step up and do what we need to do for our citizens. >> art faulkner, the director of the state's emergency management in alabama. we thank you for joining us. we want to get now to robert lath latham, the director of the mississippi emergency management agency. mississippi's governor has declared a state of emergency. what's the latest there, sir? >> hey, don. it looks like we've got ten counties that have been impacted from the storms last night. more than 25 injuries have been recorded in those counties. looks like we've got more than 40 homes that have sustained some type of damage, anything from minor to destroyed. several businesses have been impacted but none of the injuries are serious or life-threatening at this time. but right now, we're trying to complete our damage assessments to make sure that we're meeting the needs of the citizens with the first priority being to make sure those that have been impacted have safe and secure shelter. with the cold weather that's now entered the state. >> ten counties, 25 injuries, no
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deaths. 40 homes damaged, minor to completely destroyed. what are you -- how are you doing with power right now? >> so far, we haven't had a lot of power outages. some isolated power outages in those areas. power is starting to be restored. i think the biggest concern for us right now with the cold weather is that citizens will start doing things to try to keep warm. we encourage them to watch for downed power lines and be careful about heating sources and what they do, like space heaters or certainly don't burn open fires in the building like with charcoal to try to heat. we want to make sure that they have safe shelter for the cold weather that's entered the state. >> robert latham with the mississippi emergency management agency, thank you and best of luck. to other news we're following here, chilling new details emerging about the sniper who ambushed and killed two firefighters in upstate new york before shooting himself. police say 62-year-old william spengler left behind a note
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saying he hoped to burn down his neighborhood and murder as many people as possible. authorities say spengler set fire to his suburban rochester home and fired at firefighters as they arrived at the scene on monday. a charred body believed to be his sister's was found in the house she shared with him. spengler was an ex-con who was convicted of beating his grandmother to death with a hammer in 1981. russia is one step away from banning americans from adopting russian children. protesters gathered outside russia's upper house of parliament before unanimously approving a bill to ban the adoptions. it's scene as retaliation for a law signed by president obama imposing travel restrictions. the vote now goes to vladimir putin who's expected to sign it into law. egyptian .mohamed morsi has signed the country's newly approved constitution into law. the upper house of parliament has convened its first session under the new charter.
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the new constitution was approved with more than 63% of the vote in two rounds of voting. turnout was low. the charter has polarized the country and resulted in sometimes violent protests. critics say it doesn't represent women, minorities and other groups. there's a familiar face in the japanese prime minister's office. the parliament elected shinzo abe to lead the country five years after he abruptly resign. abe says his first mission is turning the country's economy around. and he's calling for safety tests on all nuclear plants. abe is the leader of the conservative liberal democratic party. he's japan's seventh prime minister in six years. [ male announcer ] break the grip of aches or arthritis pain
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anytime you leave hawaii, it is too soon. but six days before the fiscal cliff, president obama cutting short his christmas vacation on the off chance he and congress might be able to cut some kind of deal. he left. but brianna keilar is still there in honolulu. when's the president leaving and why does he really expect to avoid the cliff? >> reporter: i will be leaving as well when the president leaves, don. he is expected. he will be leaving tonight. that's local time. so he'll be traveling overnight and arriving back in the d.c. area late thursday morning. as you know, the senate reconvenes tomorrow. so he'll be going back as that is happening. we heard from him last week as he was heading out to hawaii. he said, see you next week. we had a thought that this was probably going to happen. he is officially now going back.
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he said last week, don, that he is still optimistic that something can get done. the other issue here, though, is you can imagine, how bad it would look if he go over the cliff and there's a lot of work to make sure that doesn't happen. he's here in hawaii on vacation. that would look terrible for him. so obviously he has a lot of work to do. the way the white house sees it, talking to sources, he needs to go back and also shore up some support. the big issues that are outstanding here with trying to figure out a way to avert the fiscal cliff are how to stop these tax hikes on the middle class as the white house sees it. but there's also a number of smaller tax measures that are set to expire. they sort of create their own set of problems, even for some democrats. so he may really need to do some lobbying on a few of them, don. >> brianna, how did he spend christmas? >> reporter: christmas, we
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talked about this yesterday. we said we wouldn't be surprised if he went to visit troops as he's done in past years. indeed he did end up doing that. he went a short distance from where he and the first family rent a home, to a military station here an oahu. and he visits with troops thanking them for their service and also thanking their families for their service. he said to them, we know the sacrifice that our military men and women make in defending our country. but sometimes it gets lost just how much of a sacrifice the families make as well. and as you know, don, first lady, michelle obama, has been really active with military families along with jill biden. so that was something also that was really important to her. >> brianna keilar in honeymoon lulu, thank you, brianna. a brand-new gallup poll shows half the country still thinks a fiscal cliff compromise is likely, down nine points from earlier this month.
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some gun owners in the new york city area say they are being unfairly targeted and they're blaming a local newspaper. here's why. "the journal news" published an interactive map on its website showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit owners in westchester and rockland counties. you can see them here represented by red dots. the response has been overwhelmingly angry. and some residents who don't have guns say it lets potential robbers know who isn't armed. "the journal news" says it made the decision to put up the map in response to the connecticut school massacre. if you live in los angeles and own a gun, today is the day to exchange it for a gift card. the buyback is being conducted by the l.a. police department, usually held in may.
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but this year, it's being held ahead of schedule in response to the massacre at the elementary school in connecticut. los angeles mayor toantonio villaraigosa told us that many people want things to change. >> i'm supporting senator feinstein's assault weapons ban. we have one in california. for those of us who got to watch the nra commercial last week, the notion that more guns in the hands of good people will prevent gun crimes just isn't borne out by the facts. >> $100 gift cards are being offered for handguns, rifles and shotguns. up to $200 in gift cards for assault weapons. paul vercammen is live in los angeles. our latest poll shows that 37% of americans want major restrictions on guns. does this mean today's buyback may see more than the usual
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response after the recent school shooting? >> reporter: we'll have to see about that. certainly the city of los angeles is hoping so. but i can tell you this. this seventh is still 45 minutes away from starting and there are well over a dozen cars in this buyback line. they will receive $100 for a pistol or rifle. and $200 for an assault weapon. over about the last four years, these gun buyback programs have had people turn in more than 8,000 guns. it's all about the anonymity. the drivers come in. they want the guns in the trunk, they want the guns unloaded. but just in case they are loaded, they will dump the guns and the bullets into the trash cans behind me. there will be no photograph frs and no taking down of license plates. they can walk in that tent behind me and begin to receive their gift cards for the guns they turn in.
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>> any limit to how many guns may be turned in? >> reporter: no, none whatsoever. and we've had interesting moments where they started haggling. they want guns that are working. but one of the officers told me, someone came up with more than a dozen guns, including some assault rifles, and they wound up leaving here with more than $1,000 worth of these ralph's grocery store cards. >> we heard that there have been other gun buybacks in california. tell us about the san diego records -- san diego's record. >> reporter: yeah, san diego also getting aggressive with this and also offering up these grocery store gift cards. just the other day when they put on their gun buyback, they set that record more than 350 guns. between these two cities, trying to get out on the forefront and getting people to trade in their guns. remains to be seen how successful this will be the day after christmas.
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but the lapd says in the last four years, they've seen violent crime drop by 33% in the city, once they started this gun trade-in program. >> let's go back to los angeles now because we understand the massive los angeles -- the unified school district may be making security changes after the newtown shooting. what changes can we expect? >> reporter: that district has about 1,000 schools. the high schools, about 400 of them, already have armed police officers on duty. but the middle schools and the elementary schools do not have armed guards. they will not be getting an armed guard for 24 hours. but they say they may have enough officers to make sure that at least once a day, somebody at least stops by an elementary school, a member of the police department, so there's just sort of that further layer of possible enforcement there. >> paul vercammen, thank you. if you live in l.a. and would like to exchange your gun for a gift card, you can hand in your weapon at the l.a. sports arena and the van nuys masonic
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meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. each year in our special series, big stars, big giving, cnn profiles big-name celebrities who give back in a big way this week, we share the stories of three stars putting the spotlight on giving. actor matt damon is working to bring clean water to people in developing countries. alina cho asked him about his work. >> it's very hard for us to understand. you wake up in the morning, if you're thirsty, there's a faucet right there.
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there's one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen and clean water comes out of all of them. >> reporter: but for nearly 1 billion people around the world, 1 billion, there is no affordable access to clean water. more than double that number lack proper sanitation. >> every 20 seconds, a kid under the age of 5 is dying losing their life because they do not have access to clean water. and it just doesn't have to be that way. >> reporter: so in 2009, damon and world renowned water expert gary white founded water.org. >> we're approaching it differently than many other organizations. >> reporter: their mantra, wells are great but charity can't help everyone. so white pioneered a concept called water credit. >> we knew that women in india, for instance, were going and paying 125% interest on loans to loan sharks so they could build a toilet. we said, let's take microfinance and layer it in here and give people access to affordable loans so they can get that water
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connection. >> reporter: depending on where you are, that could mean a faucet in our own home or a toilet, with clean running water. water credit is working. white says loans are being repaid at a rate of 98% in places like haiti. >> that was my first grass runway. >> reporter: what damon and white are trying to eliminate is the need to walk for water, taking time away from work or school. the water's there? >> yeah. all that time that you're wasting going and standing in the line, you now have to go to your job. it's the difference between hope and looking forward to a better day. and an existence that just basically is about scavenging for water. >> reporter: but how do you get people in the western world where water is plentiful to care? >> we've talked about different ways to do that, maybe involving
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humor. >> reporter: take ben stiller. he gets attention for his foundation stiller strong by producing hilarious videos. >> matt damon, he claimed water. how do you claim water? aqua man? >> reporter: consider this. damon talks about water on youtube, 4,000 hits. this video with sarah silverman -- viral. damon says his strong suit is getting people to care. >> because there's a lot of kind of low-hanging fruit, so to speak. there are so many people that we can help. >> reporter: do you see a solution in your lifetime? >> yes, we do. in fact, that's why we're here. >> alina cho joins me now from new york. alina, how many people in countries as water.org been able to help? >> reporter: it's pretty extraordinary. water.org actually has active programs in 11 countries. matt damon tells me they've helped 1 million people so far around the world get affordable
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loans. and he says this whole idea of water credit, so giving people affordable loans so they can get a faucet, they can get a toilet, is really working. they don't have to go to a loan shark. they don't have to do that type of thing and they're getting access to clean water, which, as you know, is a fundamental for survival. and so this is really a cause that he has taken on as his own. he actually plans to travel again to haiti some time next year. so we'll be looking forward to that. >> alina, damon talked about the possibility of using humor to get attention for his foundation, like ben stiller does. is there any chance we'll see any funny videos talking about the water issue anytime soon? >> reporter: don, funny you should ask that because matt damon and his producers are working on one right now. in fact, we were hoping -- we were begging really that get a little clip of that so we could run it in our piece around the holidays. but it turns out, they're not ready. they are working on it. but look for it.
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it could very well go viral after the first of the year when they release it. that would bring a lot of attention to water.org and that would be great. >> no doubt. thank you alina cho. for more on matt damon's efforts to provide clean water to people around the world and how you can help, go to cnn.com/impact. bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive. we've decided to we're all having such a we great year in the gulf, put aside our rivalry. 'cause all our states are great. and now is when the gulf gets even better. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride or just lay in the sun. enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty. and don't forget our amazing seafood.
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record snowfall now blankets much of arkansas. 9 inches fell yesterday in little rock. that broke an 86-year-old benchmark for snow on christmas day. wow. the storm put a strain on local resources. the arkansas national guard was called out to help including providing four-wheel-drive ambulances. the storm is now moving up the east coast bringing snow, rain and ice from illinois all the way to new jersey. and from south carolina to pennsylvania. this is a view in indianapolis today. look at that. alexandra steele tracking it all at the severe weather center. the past 24 hours have created a lot of headaches in arkansas, that much snow this far south. >> historic, don, on so many fronts. and you know what, this storm has some long legs. we've seen it for a couple of days. we have two more days of it. more severe weather and more snow from tornado watches and warnings to blizzard watch frs and warnings. here's the big picture. we start with the tornado watch. what that means is that here in
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the southeast, eastern north and eastern south carolina have conditions that have the potential to form tornadoes. tornadoes have been an history of this storm and we'll continue to see that. those go into effect until 5:00 tonight. the potential for tornadoes is there. an awful lot of lightning as well. but then we're going to see that push eastward and move off the coast. but there is the snowy side of this thing. and here's where we're seeing that. southern illinois, southern and central ohio and we're watching it through indiana as well. really kind of the quadrant or the snow sweet spot will be right here along this i-70 corridor. from indianapolis to cleveland to buffalo, and that's where we have blizzard warnings posted. and that's because not only will we see all this snow but the winds have been such a big component and will continue to be a big component with this storm. that's why travel has been perilous. and we've seen it and will continue to. from today to tomorrow, here's
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where these blizzard warnings are, in effect until 7:00 tonight, not only for the 6 to 12 inches of snow but for the winds gust pg 40 to 50 miles per hour. and then we have winter storm warnings posted. this i-90 corridor. i-70, i-80, i-90, all impacted. over a foot of know in upstate new york. here's the time line. you can see tonight at 11:00, we move out of cincinnati in toward northeastern ohio in toward western and central pennsylvania, all of new york state. by tomorrow morning, still it will be -- the pictures of out new york state will be incredible. and also notice the wind component here. we're seeing these tight isobars, the closer they are together, the stronger the winds. and even if there's no snow, the wind impacts air travel. the next 24 hours will be difficult. thursday night, finally in maine and then we shake it off.
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here are the wind gusts. indy, gusting up to 39 miles per hour. it's the winds and the snow that are the biggest components and we still have two more days of it. >> so you said this storm has long legs. i always wonder when you have these storms what's behind it. is there a bit of a break or more behind this? >> there's more behind it. there's another storm coming into california that will cross the country. and in essence, it will take more or less the same exact dip to the south and come to the northeast, a very similar path. weather is very cyclical. you get into a pattern and it's very difficult to get out of it. be it drought begets drought or the paths of snow and rain follow each other. that's what we're seeing. >> storm begets storm. thank you. appreciate it. we always have weather. but 2012 brought weather we hope we never see again.
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our chad myers counts down the top ten weather disasters of the year gone by. >> number ten, april 15th. >> tonight, millions of people throughout the midwest are battened down. >> in a second, the whole house was gone. we were looking up at blue sky. >> 75 tornadoes ripped through the midwest causing nearly $300 million in damage. number nine, tropical storm debby. >> tropical storm debby. this is what happens when you get hammered by as much as two feet of rain. >> this storm never developed into a hurricane. but it did leave up to 28 inches of rain in northern florida. number eight, summer heat wave. sweltering heat baked the nation this summer. march and july set u.s. records as the hottest of all time. number seven, western wildfire. >> oh, my god. there's smoke in the air. >> a heat wave helped fuel a string of wildfires that charred the west. colorado experienced two of the
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state's largest and most destructive wildfires ever. number six, the derecho in june. >> it began in iowa, moved through illinois, indiana, ohio and moved into washington, d.c. it's just a fast-moving, longlasting violent thunderstorm complex. >> after charging 800 miles, 22 were dead and 5 million were without power. number five, the dallas 22. there's an old myth that tornadoes don't hit big cities. >> it was so scary. remind you of "the wizard of oz" when the tornado hit and everything going around and around. >> caused nearly $1 billion worth of damage within 24 hours. number four, deadliest tornadoes. >> take it away from us, lord. >> tornadoes took up three slots in our top ten countdown. but this was the deadliest. march 2nd and 3rd, 70 confirmed
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tornadoes killed 7 people in the northwest. hurricane isaac. >> isaac was a killer. >> the country held its breath as the levees. >> reporter: yet again. plaquemine's parish was tested. by september, 66% of the u.s. was in some degree of drought. the dry weather is expected to continue into 2013. and this could become the costliest natural disaster in u.s. history. and number one, superstorm sandy. >> this historic superstorm made landfall over the most populated areas hoft united states. even snowstorms are threatening the lives and homes of people
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from virginia to massachusetts. >> never seen devastation like this in my life. >> the surf here getting much more violent. >> curfew is under way right now. you are not to be on this street. >> keeping an eye on the possibility of flooding. >> superstorm sandy has crippled the nation's biggest transit system. >> talking about flooding, possible power outages. that could last for days. >> in the city to the countryside, people need to be self-aware. >> the storm killed at least 113 people in the u.s. and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. total repairs will take decades. chad myers, cnn. >> make sure you join me for the biggest stories of the year in crime, politics, money and even the most scandalous. the top ten of 2012, season sunday night, 8:00 eastern only here on cnn. dayquil doesn't . really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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joe torre, he's one of the most successful baseball managers in the past 40 years. >> i can't tell you what the emotions are. they're just running all into each other. i can't tell you how happy i am. never been this happy in my life. >> just as he was reaching the pinnacle of his career, winning four world series titles in five years, he began opening up about
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his childhood and growing up with an abusive father. >> my older sister, raye, came from the kitchen into the dining room and she has a knife protecting my mom. and my dad was going into the drawer in the dining room to get his revolver. i did witness that. and i still remember vividly going over to my sister and grabbing the knife and putting it on the table. >> for young torre who grew up be an all-star player and is expected to be inducted into the hall of fame, baseball became his sanctuary. >> i had low self-esteem. i was lucky i played baseball. i had an opportunity to go someplace to hide. what time do you guys have to be in class? >> today, he's giving back. by providing a real sanctuary for other abuse children. >> the perpetrator, we do them favors when we don't talk about things like this. awareness is so important.
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>> torre and his wife have started the safe at home foundation, which funds dedicated spaces inside schools where kids can speak openly and get counseling about domestic violence. >> it's very serious what's happening to kids and the abuse and the people that are abused. and they don't have advocates for them. and we're trying to be those advocates. >> torre names each site margaret's place, in honor of his mother, who was physically abused by his fathers. >> youngsters are strong, they bounce back a lot. but i don't think they realize that it hurts them. i get choked up when i start talking about it. >> now retired from managing teams, torre is still in the game, overseeing operations for major league baseball and also giving his time to end violence. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right.
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fears of the fiscal cliff are taking some of the holiday cheer right out of wall street. cnn's alison kosik watching the post-christmas trading as well as a threat to the economy that could come even sooner than the cliff? let's start with the stocks, though. >> reporter: yes, stocks, very quiet today, very quiet session. not many investors in the game today. expect that to be the case the rest of the week. the fun tny thing, this is usuay
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the time we see the santa claus rally. the dow down 46 points. no deal on the if i'm not mistaken. that's spoiling the rally so far. it could be worse, though. we've seen much harsher reaction to all the congressional shenanigans in the past that could be a sign the economy is in better shape this time around. the s&p 500 is still on track for a 13% gain for the year. >>alison, what's the container cliff? >> reporter: the container cliff could be serious stuff. it could be a major threat to the economy. but it's also something that can be avoided. this container cliff is the name the national retail federation has given to this situation if workers strike at 14 of the country's ports all along the east coast, the gulf coast, from maine to texas. what's happening here is members of the international long shoreman's union, they're at an
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impasse with management over wages, as well as container royalties. these are royalties, fees paid to dock workers based on the wait of cargo that's unloaded. they were created five decades ago as an alternative to paying higher wages. you can think of it as bonuses for longshoremen. but here's the thing. cargo canes say the bonuses are sxweezing their profits and limiting their ability to compete. the deadline for this situation is friday at midnight. dock workers, they they've got some big leverage here. the clear thing is, we need our ports running. it could have a huge and negative ripple effect on the economy. the strike could stop truckers and railroads right in their tracks. it can cause delays at factories and keep goods off store shelves. we got a taste of what this could be like. there was an eight-day strike in los angeles earlier this year costing an estimated $1 billion a day. you can imagine what this could wind up being if cooler heads don't prevail. >> talk to me a little bit more
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about the impasse here. >> reporter: it is about wages. it is about these sort of bonuses that they get for the weight of the cargo. the thing is, some are asking president obama to step in because what president obama could do, they could invoke a federal law to get everybody to kind of step aside and come to some sort of agreement. so it's going to be interesting to watch because the deadline really is fast approaching. >> can the government do anything? >> reporter: well, if president obama steps in, it could. but this really is a battle between the workers and the union and wages and these bonuses. so we're going to see if president obama steps in. we do know that president obama is coming back from his vacation in hawaii early. who knows? he may address this situation as well. >> alison kosik, thank you very much. there hasn't very much. there hasn't been an east coast port strike since 1977. [music: artist: willy moon song: "yeah yeah" label: universal]
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2012 was a great year for the world of showbiz. it brought us some spectacular and unforgettable moments that captured our hearts and tragic ones like the passing of some of hollywood's best. we have look at the top 10 most fascinating entertainers of this year. >> catchy dance tunes, celebrity breakups and the tragic death of a singing icon, just a few topics that had people talking in the world of show business. here's a look at cnn's top 10 entertainment news stories from 2012.
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♪ so "call me maybe" >> the song was almost inescapable. the viral sensation "call me maybe." it earned her two grammy nominations and countless reenactments online like with the u.s. swim team. the force is now strong with with disney. in a move that caught many by surprise, the "star wars" franchise's fiercely independent creator sold his company, lucas film, to the entertainment empire for more than $4 billion. what's more is disney announced plans for three more "star wars" films. it's the superstar relationship that has hollywood asking, are they or aren't they? chris brown, who beat his then-girlfriend, rihanna in 2009 said in october he renewed his
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friendship with the singer. is it more than just friends? vague tweets have suggested otherwise. >> they want to keep everyone guessing, and they don't want to explain what's going on with their relationship to anyone in the world. the jacksons, the family drama turning into one big reality show. >> more turmoil for the jackson family last summer as paris announced on twitter that her grandmother and guardian, katherine jackson, was missing, forcing a judge to suspend her guardianship of michael's three kids. >> katherine jackson is back home, and she says she wasn't kidnapped. >> mikell's siblings disputed the claim saying their mother was resting in arizona under doctor's order. a judge later restored katherine as permanent guardian of the children. whether it was a pleasure or a guilty pleasure, audiences couldn't turn away from tlc's hit reality show "here comes honey boo boo" about a child
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beauty pageant and her family. rapper psy went from an unknown perform to her a worldwide phenomenon as "gangnam style" hit the web. the song and trademark dance shattered records online, becoming the number one watched video on youtube with more than 970 million views. psy's newfound fame wasn't without kroefrts. harsh anti-american remarks he made during a performance in 2004 resurfaced online. he apologized saying his lyrics were emotionally charged and resulted from events in the war with iraq. new sexual misconduct accusations against the former voice of elmo. >> one of the most surprising stories of the year, elmo puppeteer kevin clash was forced to resign after accused of engaging in sexual relationships with minors. his lawyers say the cases are
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without merit, but he opted to leave sesame street after 28 years. "twilight" stars kristen stewart and robert pattinson were one of the hottest celebrity couples until a highly publicized fling between the actress and the man who directed here in snow white and the huntsman rocked hollywood. >> kristen stewart moved o. she released a very public statement asking robert for forgiveness. >> pattinson did for gifr just in time for the premier of breaking dawn part 2 in november. the celebrity split sending shockwaves through the entertainment world. >> after nearly six years of marriage, katie holmes filed for divorce from tom cruise in june, blindsiding hollywood's biggest movie star. >> what was so incredible is how katie holmes had everything just so well-prepared. >> although holmes asked for full custody of their daughter suri, they settled amicably on
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the divorce. just two weeks later, ending one of the most high profile celebrity marriages. you're watching cnn with breaking news of whitney houston's death. >> it was a tragic end to an iconic singer's successful but often troubled career. whitney houston, who battled with drugs and alcohol for decades, died february 11th in a hotel bathtub at the age of 48, the night before the grammy aawards. houston's death was an accidental drowning with the effects of heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. ♪ i will always love you >> michelle turner, cnn, hollywood. please join me for the biggest stories of year in crime, politics and money and the most scandalous. the top 10 of 2012 cnn sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. let's check the top stories right now.
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former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital. his wife barbara and other relatives were at his side yesterday. the 88-year-old has been in the hospital for more than a month with a lingering cough and recently had a low grade fever. doctors remain cautiously optimistic about a full recovery. a claim of a facebook privacy braechl within the zuckerberg family. the co-founder's sister says a family photo was reposted by another woman to twitter. randi zukerbuckerberg called th woman out and the woman apologized and thought it was public because it was in the news feed. in china the world's longest high-speed railway opens. it's just under 1500 miles. it slashing the time between the two stories from 22 hours to it 8. the tickets starting at $138 are a little pricey for some, and many travelers say it's still cheaper and faster to fly.